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 What Doctors Don't Tell You: Low blood pressure, not epilepsy 
What Doctors Don't Tell You © (Volume 13, Issue 1)
About 15 years ago, I started having complex partial seizures, also known as temporal lobe epilepsy. It was very difficult for me as a teacher since I would suddenly start talking gibberish for minutes at a time. It was also impossible for me to drive.

I consulted my GP, who referred me to a ‘specialist’. After undergoing an EEG and MRI, I was told that they had found ‘something’ that was probably a brain tumour. I spent the next two years waiting to die.

I was given carbamazepine (Tegretol), but it has never been wholly effective. I have seizures once or twice a day and lose consciousness about once every seven to 10 days. It also has several unpleasant side-effects.

Two further scans, on newer equipment, revealed that the supposed brain tumour was probably old scar tissue.

Meanwhile, I noticed that my seizures were more likely to occur at certain times, such as:

* if I slept heavily in the night and was still sleepy - then 20 minutes after getting up * if I stayed awake a long time into the night - then just as I dropped off to sleep * between 12.30 and 13.00 - then just before lunch * if not at that time - then just as I started to eat my lunch.

Thinking this might be linked to blood sugar or blood pressure, I recently bought a blood-sugar meter and a blood-pressure monitor. Since then, I have learned that:

* I have very low blood pressure most of the time, but it varies during the day * the morning seizures are related to a swift drop in blood pressure * I often have very low blood pressure and low blood sugar before a seizure * rapid changes in blood pressure, e.g. due to emotions, can lead to a seizure.

I thought that I was alone in noticing this until I read on the Internet that the Manchester Heart Centre found that some patients diagnosed with epilepsy in fact had cardiac arrhythmias, and all had low blood pressure. Also, some cardiologists believe that difficulties with circulation may be the problem with up to 40 per cent of supposedly epileptic patients, but whose epilepsy is drug-resistant.

Having made more searches on the Net, I find that, in the US, it is recognised that low blood sugar and/or low blood pressure can trigger seizures.- Judy Tolman, Ludgershall, Buckinghamshire

 Comments Add your comment 
dmarie71 wrote
   7/11/2010 5:47:00 AM    (report abuse)
My daughter of 14 has been passing out for past 3 yrs and it progressed to every morning which then progressed to her having seizures, various types. Low bp runs in our family and she has very low bp frequently. Been fighting for a long time, we were not believed, had many tests eegs, ecgs all normal results. Recent stay in hospital finally a diagnosis was given, non epileptic pseudo seizures and that psychological stress was the cause, even believed she was deliberately faking. Her seizures always came straight after a faint or extreme dizziness on waking, standing or sitting. So we reject the diagnosis, it is not psychological its physical, the low bp drop in the morning. The fight continues but am confident. It was great to read the last part "its recognised in the U.S. that low blood sugar or low bp can be a trigger for seizures". Just a shame it is not recognised here in the UK. Thanks for sharing, refreshing for me to read.
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What Doctors Don't Tell You What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't......more
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